by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In Asan, China took no chances; of the current leading group of female junior players, the only notable name absent from the selection was that of Wang Manyu, the young lady crowned World Junior champion in Shanghai in 2014 and once again in La Roche sur Yon, the following year.
She is named on the entry list for the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum Australia Open in Gold Coast, as are Japan’s leading junior age group trio of Miu Hirano, Mima Ito and Hina Hayata.
Wang Manyu not present; nevertheless, the selection for the final of Sun Yingsha, Shi Xunyao and Qian Tianyi was a formidable combination by any standards. Competing against Miu Hirano, Mima Ito and Hina Hayata would have been an interesting proposition to avenge the Cape Town defeat.
Against the Japanese outfit, with 12 year old Miyuu Kihara and 15 years of age Miyu Nagasaki both still being in the cadet age group joining forces with17 year old Asuka Sasao, the Chinese trio was simply too strong
Sun Yingsha beat Asuka Sasao (11-3, 12-10, 11-6), before Shi Xunyao accounted for Miyuu Kihara (11-8, 11-9, 12-10) and Qian Tianyi ended matters by overcoming Miyu Nagasaki (11-4, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8).
Defeat for Japan but runners up spot means an invite to the 2017 World Junior Championships to be staged later in the year in Riva del Garda, Italy.
Five places are available for Asia in the Italian city; the losing semi-finalists of one day earlier, Korea and Hong Kong are also guaranteed invites. The question to be settled on the third day of action in Asan was as to who would gain the fifth and final place.
The answer was Chinese Taipei. Selecting Su Pei-Ling, Chen Ting-Ting and Wen Ruei-Ling, they overcame Iran’s Fatemeh Jamalifar, Mahshid Ashtari and Fatemehzahra Mokhtarraziaei by three matches to nil, prior to securing fifth place by defeating Singapore.
Chien Tung-Chuan replaced Su Pei-Ling in the Chinese Taipei line-up as a further three-nil win was recorded in opposition to Singapore’s Zermaine Nicole Lew, Goi Rui Xuan and Wong Xin Ru to end matters.
Play in the Junior Girls’ Team event now over, attention turns towards the individual competitions. The tournament concludes on Tuesday 4th July.
Photos: An Sungho